With the advent of technology, we’ve seen men on the moon, self-driving cars, and the rise of artificial intelligence. All of that’s exciting, but not all too relevant to the average person’s day-to-day life. However, coinciding with technology’s advancements of 2016 is a FinTech golden age with the power to change your personal finances.
In our digital age, billions of people will join the online community for years to come. Therefore, we’ll continue to see a quick response from FinTech entrepreneurs offering innovative solutions to both consumers and businesses. Looking at how recent successes in technology have paved a new landscape for finance, we see that the future may bring services such as enhanced financial education, investment advice, better payments processing, and smarter compliance to the public.
Here are five big changes we forecast in 2016. Make sure to stay up to date and be prepared to take advantage of the constant shifts in the world of personal finance.
1. The Democratization of Finance
In 2016 and forward, entrepreneurs provide platforms by which consumers can track their spending and optimize their investment strategies. Jonathan Stein, founder and CEO of robo-advisor firm Betterment tweeted, “We’ll see the beginning of the end of the Retirement Crisis with greater access to advice via low-cost services and better 401ks.” Another startup, LearnVest, offers comprehensive financial planning—from retirement to emergency planning and asset allocation at a relatively low, $19 a month and $299 one-time fee.
2. Facilitating Easy and Safe Spending
Now, this point may not always be positive for the consumer. Easier payments sometimes mean frivolous spending, but it can also translate into a convenience that saves time (and, therefore, money). As consumers, we want our shopping experience to be quick, painless and safe.
With identity theft on the rise, online shoppers are more skeptical of their virtual transactions.
Startups such as payment company Stripe have helped Apple, Twitter, and Facebook launch e-commerce by dealing with the multitude of issues that arise with online payment processing. Stripe congregates and simplifies billing, fraud prevention, currency conversions, and other services on a single platform.
3. Make Sure You Comply
Along with the technology boom of the 21st century comes a widespread increase in regulation. Compliance is costly for both businesses and individuals. Furthermore, transaction processing technology and software pose threats to security standards. New FinTech startups are trying to integrate the two so that companies can continue to grow online while without breaking the law. For example, the online identity verification leader, Trulioo announced raised $15 million in the largest FinTech equity financing round of 2015. The startup aims to “improve trust and safety online, focusing on compliance and fraud risk mitigation in the fast growing cross-border payment industry.”
The Bottom Line
The digital age will bring billions of people across the globe onto the worldwide web. As the global economy moves to the digital realm, we see a simultaneous reaction from FinTech entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on this growing market. Analyzing the recent trends, we put together a list of major changes that may affect your finances in 2016. In the New Year, we’ll see a shift towards facilitating financial education, compliance, payments processing and investment, all while offering solutions to a growing digital economy.